If your kid was diagnosed with ADHD, you’ve probably wondered about using medication to treat it. Stimulants like Ritalin are commonly prescribed, but let’s be honest—the idea of giving amphetamines to a 6-year-old makes most parents uneasy.
Luckily, there are a ton of effective natural remedies for ADHD that can help before you resort to prescription drugs. In this post, we’ll explore simple lifestyle changes, herbs, essential oils, nutritional supplements, and behavior modification techniques that can make a huge difference in improving your child’s symptoms.
Table of Contents
ADHD Symptoms First Things First – Adjust the Diet
One of the most powerful natural ADHD treatments is adjusting your kid’s diet. What children eat can directly affect their focus, mood, and behavior. Here’s how to get started:
- Cut out artificial food dyes and preservatives. Studies show these can worsen hyperactivity big time. Read labels carefully and ban things like fruit snacks, colorful cereals, soda, and pretty much anything that looks neon.
- Try eliminating common allergenic foods like gluten, dairy, soy, eggs, and corn. Food sensitivities can trigger ADHD symptoms. Eliminate potential culprits for 2-3 weeks, then add them back one at a time while watching for changes.
- Load up on protein, healthy fats, fiber, and key nutrients by focusing on whole foods. I’m talking grass-fed meats, wild-caught fish, leafy greens, nuts and seeds, avocado, whole grains, beans, eggs, etc. Ditch refined sugar – it’s kryptonite for ADHD brains.
- Consider specialized diets like the Feingold Diet or elimination diets under the guidance of a nutritionist. Some kids respond extremely well to removing things like gluten/dairy or following targeted protocols.
These dietary tweaks can work wonders, but they do take some trial and error. Be patient, get creative in the kitchen, and enlist the whole family to eat healthier. Your kid will become more focused and way less hyperactive when you cut out junk and optimize their diet.
Lifestyle Fixes for Better Focus
A few key lifestyle changes also go a long way for managing ADHD symptoms naturally:
- Get a solid sleep routine in place. Kids with ADHD often have sleep issues which worsens other problems. Set an early, consistent bedtime and relaxing pre-bed rituals like bath, books, lavender oil, etc. Proper rest is a must!
- Make time for exercise every single day. Vigorous activity is one of the best natural ADHD treatments going. Aim for at least 20-30 minutes of heart-pumping exercise. Work those wiggles out!
- Carve out downtime for relaxation. Meditation, deep breathing, yoga, and spending time outdoors balances out the ADHD tendency to go, go, go. Even 5-10 minutes makes a difference.
- Minimize digital stimulation. Too much screen time overstimulates ADHD minds. Limit devices and ensure kids get plenty of good old-fashioned play, social interaction, puzzles, reading, etc.
- Create structure and routines. Visual schedules, calendars, regular daily rhythms – these things are like catnip for ADHD brains. Match tasks and activities to your kiddo’s unique energy levels and abilities.
When diet and lifestyle boxes are checked, you’ve built a solid, helpful foundation for conquering ADHD struggles naturally.
Herbal Remedies and Supplements for Additional Symptom Relief
Certain herbs, vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids can also help manage ADHD. Always consult a doctor before giving supplements to kids. Things like:
- Zinc, magnesium, iron – These support neurotransmitters and nervous system function. Deficiencies are common in ADHD.
- Omega-3 fatty acids from fish, walnuts, etc. – They reduce inflammation and balance the brain. Supplements can help.
- Bacopa – This Ayurvedic herb improves memory, focus, and ADHD symptoms.
- Rhodiola – An adaptogenic herb that relieves stress and sharpens concentration.
Get any nutrient levels tested and work with a practitioner to create a tailored supplement protocol. Start one new supplement at a time and monitor effects. Targeted nutrients along with diet and lifestyle changes offer an effective natural combo.
Aromatherapy – Breathe In Some Calm Focus
Did you know using certain scents can actually dial back ADHD symptoms? It’s true! Essential oils like:
- Lavender – Reduces hyperactivity and helps concentration.
- Frankincense – Calms the nervous system.
- Cedarwood – Improves focus and reduces restlessness in studies.
- Vetiver – Settles the mind and eases anxiety.
- Ylang ylang – Lessens agitation and boosts mood.
Try rubbing diluted oils on your kid’s neck before homework time. Lavender and cedarwood are great choices. Or put a few drops in a diffuser so they inhale the scent. See if it helps them feel more relaxed and centered.
Behavior Therapy Can Teach Key Skills
Natural remedies help create an environment that sets your child up for success managing ADHD. But directly training your kid in skills like organization, impulse control, positive thinking, and social behaviors can also make a huge difference.
Options like parent training classes, cognitive behavioral therapy, neurofeedback, and social skills coaching equip both you and your child with tangible tactics for improving focus, managing emotions, staying on task, etc.
While finding the right natural ADHD remedies takes some trial and error, making diet and lifestyle adjustments, being consistent, and working with experts often allows families to find the right mix. The great news is you have so many options to try before drugs.
With commitment and creativity, you can help your spirited, distractible child thrive without necessarily needing Rx stimulants. Keep tweaking that diet, get more exercise and sleep, implement structure, and work with your child’s unique strengths and challenges. Don’t give up, mama! There are lots of paths to success managing ADHD naturally.